Life is full of change.
This past year, I have spent a HUGE amount of time reflecting on the Jesus of the Gospels. I have asked myself so often, “Who is Jesus? What was he like? How did he love?”
I have really tried to understand the man who walked though Israel 2,000 years ago. I will admit, I do not think he is the man I perceived two years ago. Jesus loves more than I ever could imagine, and I am still reflecting in awe and reverence of his amazing virtue. This is not meant to be a political post. Rather, like my first post, this is about compassion and love which Christ models for us.
This picture was taken by my father on a trip to Reynosa, Mexico.
He and I were in a compound which housed a church with this sign.
\\ Ciudad de Refugio which means City of Refuge //
Let us remind ourselves that we can be help those in need find refuge in Christ.
“Who is Jesus? What was he like? How did he love?”
Below is the text of a post that one of my family members posted earlier this month.
REGARDLESS your political ideologies, as a believer in Christ AND his gospel, read this message with the compassion of the Spirit.
“Real Christians would be waiting at the border with food, water, clothing, and medical aid.”*
This is relevant right now and is why I decided to write this today. Right now there are thousands of people in Tijuana. Many of these people are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Now I am not going to make this political. I personally do not care what you think is the right way to handle immigration. That is not what is important. I am not here to persuade you of what the best way to handle the immigration of those people. That is not what matters.
What matters is that no matter what, the heart of God is love. As a Christian, your first responsibility is to God and not your country. Should Christ be in our midst, I believe he would be the first to say, “Let us make sure they are taken care of.” Just as he took care of the Jew, the gentile, the tax collector, the prostitute, the lame, the poor, and the affluent, I want to show them my love.
What matters is that no matter what, the heart of God is love. As a Christian, your first responsibility is to God and not your country.
I am not going to post pictures due to the recent controversy of how the situation is currently being handled, BUT I strongly recommend listening to the podcast listed below.
Gavin Rodgers, a pastor in Texas who regularly works with the homeless and poor, went to Mexico and traveled with this caravan for a few days. He beautifully recounts his experiences with them.
After listening to his story, I again realized the heart of Christ; people are people. No matter where they are from they are still people that God created with his eternal value.
Pastor Rodgers showed just how human they were.
“They embraced me fully. Fed me when I didn’t have food, gave me water when I didn’t have water. And I’m an American just on this journey with them…they just saw if you are a stranger, if you are with them, you’re going to be treated like family.”
As I listened I thought to myself, “That is what the church is called to do.” We are called be the light of the light the world. We are called to clothe and feed those who are in need. Yet, the ones who are feeding the pastor, who only along for the journey, are the ones in need themselves.
I will end with this. If you listen or listened to the podcast, you will hear Pastor Rodgers speak about it as well.
The thing that hit me the most about this whole situation is a hypothetical scenario that Pastor Rodgers created.
He shares that when he was younger, he went on a Missions trip to the area where many these people are coming from. He was a part of a group that went and shared the Gospel of hope and love to children and adults in this area.
They knew these “Americans” had come for a short while to play with them, sing with them, paint with them, teach them about Jesus, and ultimately love and encourage them. They were told,
“We love you!”
Now here they are at our boarder. They may be trying to find safety or possibly just a better life. They have come to the place that those Christians were from. But that country may do nothing to help them.
They were told Jesus loves you, but as they near the boarder, it looks like America does not.
I am not here to promote any type of policy. I do not believe the Kingdom of heaven depends on a policy of an earthly kingdom. I don’t need promote one side or the other.
All I promote is that we as the Kingdom of God do what Christ has called us to do and that we follow his example.
All our King needs is a heart open to be molded in the image of his. So what do we do:
- Open your heart to issues that deal with people, even if it is not how you may currently think politically. The Gospel influences our approach to people.
- Love and give when and where you can.
- Speak and show your love.
- View life through the Gospel of Christ and live according to the example he set.
- Pray for God to guide you and how you can minister to people in need.
- Listen and obey the things he gives you to do.
People may disregard this post and say that we need to uphold the law. Yes, we should abide by the law, but I will still stand up for those who need help and need the love of Christ in their lives. This post is not meant to talk about legal immigration–it is to remind the church what Christ has called us to do. Love people just as he did.
I think Christ would meet anyone in need with food, water, clothing, and a way to provide healing. That is what I see him doing in the Gospels. After all, it is indeed the Good News…
This post is not meant to talk about legal immigration–it is to remind the church what Christ has called us to do.
Love people just as he did.
Do not skip over the scripture, God’s Word is more valuable than mine.
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
“And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.”
“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry,
*This is the first part of a post made this month on Facebook from one of my family members. It made me think a lot on this issue, and I believe it has merit to us as believer, regardless of your views on immigration.